Born to Christian family, his father was a Catholic and the mother an Anglican.
He became born-again christian and was visible in his official deeds as president of Burundi.
According to the AFP news agency, Nkurunziza never traveled without his own football team and choir, as he combined matches against local teams with evangelical prayer sessions.
He and and his wife, Denise were once reported to have washed the feet of some people in a crowd like the biblical story of Jesus and his disciples.
Presidential spokesman, Willy Nyamitwe once said, “Mr Nkurunziza indeed believes he is a president by divine will, and therefore organizes his life and government around these values.”
His strong believe in The Supreme God, would push him to name his veteran football club, Hallelujah FC.
The Football Fanatic
Mr Nkurunziza is one of the few African leaders with passion for sports and football in particular.
As a matter of fact, the last public appearance of the late president of the East African country, was at a sport event. He witness volleyball match at his native Ngozi on Saturday afternoon before having the malaise in the night breaking sunday, the official communique said.
From the age of 5 till his university, her was a spectacular footballer, reports said.
A graduate in sports education, he was a teacher and assistant lecturer at the University of Burundi.
He also coached the army football team, Muzinga, as well as Union Sporting, a Burundian first division team in the 1990s.
He now has his own side, Hallelujah FC, where “he plays as a striker and scores regularly”, his biography says.
Pierre Nkurunziza made sport an instrument of reconciliation and his commitment to peace and social cohesion, winning him honorary distinctions on the four corners of the globe.
African leaders pay Tribute to Burundi
African leaders have sent messages of condolence to Burundians following the death of President Pierre Nkurunziza.
“I would like to express my condolences on the sudden passing of President Pierre Nkurunziza Deepest sympathies to his family and the people of Burundi,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote on Twitter.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence and comfort to the People of the Republic of Burundi and the family of His Excellency President Pierre Nkurunziza who passed away today,” the Kenyan presidency said, noting that Nkurunziza was “an outstanding regional counterpart who served his country with distinction as Head of State and Government, and worked tirelessly for the peace and stability of his country and the Great Lakes Region.”
On his part, Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo also shared his message of condolence with Burundians.
“I hereby extend my sincere condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of Burundi. On behalf of the Citizens of the Federal Republic of Somalia and on my own behalf, we mourn the death of HE Pierre Nkurunziza. He was a great friend and ally of the Somalia,” he said.
Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan also condoled with Burundians, wishing a peaceful transition in the country that had just come from a presidential election.